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Welcome to my blog, in which I aim to keep you up-to-date with my new career in art and design and showcase my work. Let me know if you want to purchase any of the artwork on display, all offers seriously considered. Please leave comments – I’ll need to moderate your first comment on my blog, but any future comments you make should appear straight away.

A list of workshops held at my purpose-built studio is available here.
Connect to me at The Studio on Facebook by clicking here.

I’m also part of the beta program for WordPress’ WordAds – if you wish to click on any of the ads on this site, I will receive part of the revenue. This helps support my creativity, and I hope it doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the site.

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Tailormade Card (for Creative Expressions)

Tailormade Card

Another part of this month’s DT goodie pack was the That Special Touch ‘Rulers’ mask. I wanted to use it with the sparkle texture paste and came up with this card design, revisiting the fabulous Creative Expressions Antique Dressforms stamp set.

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Studio Dog has Pups!

It’s not often that I post personal stuff on what is really my business blog. But who can resist pics of puppies? Esther, my cockerpoo and honorary crafter, gave birth to four pups last night, with the first at 21:30, and the last as a bit of a late surprise at 00:35. She’ll be spending the next few weeks in the studio with me, pups and all – got to start them young :)

Cue the ooo and ahhhing ;)

Esther and pups

Craftwork Cards Dressform Workshop

Dressform

Unfortunately, not enough people booked for the workshop to be held at Craftwork Cards HQ near Leeds on Saturday 26th April, and it has now been withdrawn.

As I’d got everything ready, I have sets of templates ready to go, so I have decided to run the workshop at my home studio in Leicester. Please book with me directly by following this link to my workshops page and scroll down to the April section.

 

Workshop and Giveaway News

Remember this creation for Craftwork Cards that featured on Create & Craft TV a little while back? So many people asked how I made it that Craftwork Cards have booked me to lead a workshop at their head office near Leeds (UK) on Saturday, 26th April. There are still a few places available… I’ll show you how to use my templates and their fabulous papers to make your own dressform, from the base up to the Candi necklace. As a bonus, we’ll also be doing a couple of card projects to finish off the day. All materials will be included, you’ll just need to bring your basic craft kit.

This workshop is now taking place at my studio in Leicester – click here to book.

And in unrelated news, this ‘ere blog is coming up to another major milestone – I’m getting near 500 posts. When I post my 500th post, it will be announcing a list of winners - my favourite commenters from now until then, anywhere on the blog. Prizes will be pieces of art, from ATCs to cards, a Distress Technique tag book or may be a piece of quilting – all of them created by me. So all you have to do to be in with a chance of getting a piece of my work is to comment (meaningfully please!). And of course, regular followers of my blog get a head start :)

Stamping Sprigs on Spring Cards (for Creative Expressions)

Both

Also in my goodie package this month from Creative Expressions were two new Singles stamps, Ivy Corner and Botanical Spray. Each features a leafy sprig, along with a cute insect. I decided to get my Distress Markers, Vintage Mist and pearl PVA out to use with them…

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Even more samples on TV…

Being on a design team is all about working to deadlines. Julie Hickey does such a stunning job when presenting on Ideal World/Create & Craft TV, you really don’t get even the slightest hint of the frenetic activity behind the scenes. Now I have no idea what was happening at Craftwork Cards HQ, but I do know that the samples that I had to make up didn’t arrive as planned and had to be emailed to me at about 10:30 and I had these three samples into the post by 4:15pm for special delivery the next day for the show that evening. How’s that for pressured deadlines – and I wasn’t the only one… being on a DT isn’t all fun ;)

All three projects feature the brand new Country Garden papers. The first is a small pop-up box card with punched roses. The second is an adapted large pop-up box, with freehand cut vase filled with roses. I cut one of the sheets to resemble a table cloth, cutting the corners off the flaps and adding two pop-up triangles to create the ‘table’ surface as the card opens up. The vase and flowers are mounted on springs:
Springs_wThis way, the card still fits in the envelope, but depth still appears as the card opens. The card is braced by a tabbed insert that keeps it open and the table top taut. The final one is a self-closing collapsable box which I have created and decorated up. All of the papers are edged with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink for a bit of definition.

The samples all featured on the Craftwork Cards Pick of The Day shows on Tues 1st – Wed 2nd April, although if you blinked you’ll have missed them as the paper packs and card packs sold out and the samples weren’t featured in later shows. Good for CWCs, but not so much for me ;)

Topiary Trees with Candi

Topiary Trees

I’m a bit behind on my posts this week… This is a pair of topiary trees that I made especially for the Craftwork Cards Candi Week, and they’re a giveaway prize over at their blog (still chance to enter if you’re really quick!). To see more on how I made them, go to this post. The planters are made from sheet greyboard, covered with titan buff acrylic and weathered with dry brushed Vintage Photo Distress Paint and Distress Ink. The balls are 8mm beads skewered onto cocktail sticks. The trunks of the trees are wound paper, and I rumpled tissue paper round it to add a bark effect.

 

Glittering Starburst Card (for Creative Expressions)

Glittering Starburst Card

 

I’ve been sent some new goodies for April DT posts for Creative Expressions :)

First up from my goodie package are the brilliant Sparkle Texture Pastes from Cosmic Shimmer. These are slightly thicker than their clear texture paste, so keep to shape a little better. The coarse glitter doesn’t interfere with smoothing on too much, so this stencilled card was quick to make (aside from drying time). I did the stencilling in two goes, one for each colour, but more precise appliers may be able to do it in one go.

Just before the shopping list, don’t forget the BSSBS on 12th-13th April at Ally Pally, early; bird discount of £1 off for tickets booked before 8th April. See you there! Click for details:BSSBS LOGO Original

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Good Ol’ Sport Journal (for Jones Crafts)

Journal Collage

I’ve just received my DT goodies from Jones Crafts, and this time, I have the Graphic 45 Good Ol’ Sport Collection of papers to play with. Just as well it’s vintage and paper, as those that know me well know that I don’t do sport!

In what is fast becoming a trademark makeover, I’ve taken the sheet of 4×6″ prints, cut them up, added some more pages using the other papers and wire bound them using my Zutter Bind-it-All. The front and back covers have faux rusted enamel finish using clear embossing powder and Vintage Photo Distress Ink and Distress Powder. Everything else is  aged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I created the photo corners by making a cut file and cutting them out on the Silhouette Cameo, before colouring with Tarnished Brass Distress Stain, sticking them together and then inserting the collector’s cards from two other sheets from the collection. Add in some of the chipboard tags and die cuts for tags, and paper ribbons and it’s done. Here’s a clickable gallery for close ups:

Upcycled Mini-Egg Tube Storage Solution

The master of crafty invention, Tim Holtz (along with his friends at Ranger Ink), has come up with a brand new mini-applicator tool for the ever popular Distress Inks – if you’ve not come across it yet, it’s circular and smaller than his previous rectangular ones. I’m still waiting on my order for the tool, but I had a delivery of the replacement foams…

I came up with a storage dispenser for the foams, but the design was a little flimsy and I wasn’t entirely happy with it. As I was munching through some Cadbury’s mini-eggs (don’t you just love this time of year?) I was pondering the design… and then realised as I was about to chuck the tube away that it might be the solution. A quick check showed it was just the right diameter to take the foams, and a new design was born. Before… and after:

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